Our Commitment to action for the Promise of Sydney

Below is the current list of commitments recorded during and after the IUCN World Parks Congress 2014. Please note that this list is continually evolving as commitments are made, expanded and added to the record.

The IUCN President invited further promises and commitments to be made. These can be notified to: wcpa@iucn.org,and will be added to the online register of promises. Please also notify us if the commitment as stated below is not recorded correctly.

Commitments made by: Governments ¦ Organisations

Commitments made by Governments to the Promise of Sydney

Australia: Education and research Australia committed to:
  1. A further AUD $100K to support the partnership between local universities and private land-managers in the Tasmanian Land Conservancy. This money will support curriculum development to build capacity in protected area management in Australia, and across our region through agreements with our universities in the Asia-Pacific region.
  2. A further AUD $1.2 million for the Bush Blitz Species Discovery program, a public-private partnership between the Australian Government, the mining company BHP Billiton and Earthwatch Australia. This program has already uncovered more than 825 new species.
Australia: Government of New South Wales The New South Wales Government committed to:
  1. The protection of an additional 5000ha of precious wetlands including the creation the Everlasting Swamp National Park.
  2. Helping reduces litter, improve bushfire safety and benefit individual and public health and well-being by banning smoking in all State national parks and reserves.
  3. Re-wilding locally extinct native animals into NSW National Parks through public-private partnerships.
Australia: Great Barrier Reef and Marine Conservation Australia committed to:
  1. Put a legislative ban on capital dredge disposal in the Great Barrier Reef marine park through regulation in conjunction with the Government of Queensland;
  2. Provide $700,000 from the Reef Trust to clean up marine debris across the Great Barrier Reef, protecting the iconic marine species and helping to conserve the reef’s Outstanding Universal Value.
  3. Further support for the regional partnership: Coral Triangle Initiative, through a further AUD $6M to support the 120 million people in our region who rely on rich and diverse marine life for their livelihoods, building on the great partnership between 6 countries – Indonesia, Malaysia, PNG, the Philippines, Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste, and on the $7.2 million that Australia has provided to the CTI since 2009;
  4. Take a leadership role in working to support a decision by the United Nations General Assembly to commence negotiations on an international instrument to address gaps in sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity on the high seas.
Australia: Indigenous Peoples Australia committed to:
A newly reconstituted Indigenous Advisory Committee, chaired by Melissa George. This committee is an important group that provides the Ministry of Environment with sound and ongoing advice on cultural and natural resource management under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
Australia: Rainforest recovery, wildlife crime and threatened species Australia committed to:
  1. Work with countries in our region to develop an Asia-Pacific Rainforest Recovery Plan to help meet the global goal of slowing, halting and reversing forest loss by 2030. This was launched at the inaugural Asia-Pacific Rainforest Summit last week.
  2. A further $6M for RAFT, a regional programme to reduce deforestation and combat illegal logging in Asia, including through support of world-leading research by the University of Adelaide to build up a DNA-database of illegally logged timber.
  3. Support for the international effort to fight wildlife crime, and to support the development of a resolution to the United Nations General Assembly on poaching and illegal wildlife trafficking. Australia and other nations have said that they will work with their home governments to fulfil their commitment to tackling the illegal wildlife trade.
  4. The commitment of an extra AUS $2 million to boost the recovery of threatened species in Australia’s national park estate. The funding will mean ten innovative projects targeting key species, habitat and threats across the Parks Australia network now have the go-ahead. It will include $750,000 to support four Kakadu projects as part of the Kakadu threatened species strategy. Australia will share its experience of appointing a dedicated Threatened Species Commissioner with other nations seeking to strengthen protection for threatened species.
Bangladesh Bangladesh committed to:
The establishment of the first Marine Protected Area in Bangladesh, to protect whales, dolphins, sharks, and other marine life. Spanning some 1,738 km2 with a depth of more than 900 meters, the Swatch of No Ground Marine Protected Area is larger than Cape Cod Bay and includes waters at the head of the submarine canyon from which it gets its name.
Brazil: Amazon The Brazilian Ministry of the Environment (MMA), committed to:
Pursue the plan for the third phase of the ARPA Program together with state governments and partners for the consolidation of 60 million hectares of protected areas in the Brazilian Amazon by 2020 and to pursue budgetary allocations, development of new tools, improvement in governance and leveraging public and political support for the maintenance of these areas henceforth, transitioning from donor funds to government budgetary support for these areas over a 25-year period. This commitment will result in: the creation of 6 million hectares of new PA in the Brazilian Amazon; the attainment of 60 million hectares of PA supported by the ARPA Program; the development of new tools to increase efficiency of government resource use; the guaranteed minimum staffing level for all PA supported by the Program; coordination of government agencies at both Federal and State levels for planning and financing of PA Systems; overcoming the current gap for basic PA financing.
Brazil: Marine Brazil committed to:
  1. Bringing under biodiversity protection from 1.5% to 5% (equivalent to 175,000 km2) of the Brazilian marine territory as protected areas;
  2. Bringing under enhanced biodiversity protection at least 9,300 km2 of marine and coastal areas (with regulated sustainable use practices); and
  3. Identifying, designing, and preparing for implementation at least two financial mechanisms able to contribute to the long-term sustainability of MCPAs.

The result would be: Expansion of protected area coverage of Brazilian coast, territorial sea and Economic Exclusive Zone to 5%;
Safeguarding sensitive and unique habitats of the South American Atlantic coast; Development and deployment of a system-wide biodiversity monitoring system for all Marine Protected Areas;
Incorporating PA management with natural resource extraction agents (especially oil and gas) and the Brazilian Navy – sharing responsibilities and scaling up the conservation results of this potential partnership; Revisiting and updating the biodiversity priority conservation areas map for coastal and marine ecosystems;
Improving fisheries and other natural resource extraction regulations on coastal and marine ecosystems.

Burundi Burundi committed to:
Increasing Burundi’s protected areas estate from 5.4% to 10% within the next several years, and to strengthen enforcement.
Cambodia Cambodia committed to:
Establishing a new marine park for mangrove conservation and involving the local community in protecting our natural areas.
Cameroon Cameroon committed to:
Conserving protected areas to enhance the livelihood of the local population and improve economies of the nation.
Canada: Parks Canada Parks Canada committed to:
  1. Take concrete action in three priority areas under the Government of Canada’s National Conservation Plan to conserve Canada’s lands and waters, restore ecological integrity and connect Canadians with nature;
  2. Complete, by 2015, its work to protect wilderness lands in Nááts’ihch’oh, Bathurst Island and the Mealy Mountains through the establishment of three new national parks.
  3. Advancing a conservation and restoration program that is the largest, most diverse and progressive in the Agency’s history, investing close to $84 million over the next five years to undertake key restoration activities that contribute to the ecological integrity of national parks and the recovery of species at risk.
  4. Supporting Aboriginal people in connecting to their traditionally used lands, in order to strengthen traditional knowledge and the cooperation in the management of Canada's heritage places, such as through the Open Doors Program.
  5. Fostering an appreciation for nature and building a community of stewards among Canadians of all ages, through initiatives such as the My Parks Pass program, which gives students free entry to Parks Canada places for one full year when they visit with their class or family, through their Learn to Camp Program, and through the establishment of Rouge National Urban Park, the first of its kind in Canada.

Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial parks ministers have further committed to work together to creatively and collaboratively inspire Canadians to experience nature through parks in ways that support their health and well-being.

Canada: Quebec Quebec committed to:
Dedicate, by 2035, 50% of the Plan Nord territory for purposes other than industrial ones, to environmental protection and the safeguarding of biodiversity (which represents an area of 600,000km2). In the short term, by 2020, the Québec Government is committed to establishing strictly protected areas in at least 20% of the Plan Nord territory (equivalent to 240,00km2).
China China committed to:
  1. Increase its protected areas territory to at least 20% by 2020, and to match Chinese categories of protected areas to global standards.
  2. Increase its forest area to 40 million hectares by 2020, increasing the standing volume by 1.2 billion cubic hectares.
Comores Comores committed to:
  1. Place biodiversity conservation in general and protected areas in particular as the cornerstone of the national strategy to address climate change and maintain ecosystem resilience.
  2. In the next 10 years, to reach 22% of protection of terrestrial ecosystems and 7% of all marine and coastal ecosystems. In the next 5 years, seven new PAs will be declared, including the nomination of Volcan of Karthala to be included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List and the establishment of the Island of Mohéli as a Biosphere Reserve in the context of the MAP Programme.
  3. Establish a National Trust Fund for Protected Areas to contribute to the financial sustainability of protected area management.
Costa Rica Costa Rica committed to:
Continuing to strengthen the course of conservation and sustainable use of natural resources developed through a robust system of National Parks and Protected Areas created 44 years ago, and to promote internationally that the use of these areas be consistent with the principles of their creation.
Fiji Fiji committed to:
Achieving its target of conserving 30% of the Exclusive Economic Zone by 2020 in establishing inshore and offshore Locally Managed Marine Areas and Marine Protected Areas
France France committed to:
  1. Strengthen at the national level, the normative framework for the protection of natural areas;
  2. Continue the growth of France's protected areas network, beyond the Aichi Target, in both coverage and level of protection;
  3. Achieve at the national level, double the Aichi Target for marine protected areas, to result in 20% of national seas under protection by 2020.
French Polynesia French Polynesia committed to:
Create a new large-scale marine protected area initiative in the Austral Islands.
Gabon Gabon committed to:
  1. The creation of a network of new Marine Protected Areas equivalent to 23% of its territorial waters and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The 46,000 km2) area includes a range of ecosystems and bars commercial fishing.
  2. To develop and support an African Association of Heads of Park Agencies.
Italy: Federparchi Federparchi committed to:
Propose at least five new protected areas for listing on the IUCN Green List of Protected Areas. The protected areas will be chosen among National, Regional Parks, private areas and Natura 2000 sites (sites of EU interest).
Japan The Ministry of the Environment, Japan, committed to:
  1. Working with the IUCN Asia Regional Office to enhance collaboration among Asian countries on protected areas management through the Asia Protected Area Partnership (APAP), which was officially established during the IUCN World Parks Congress 2014 based on the broad and fruitful discussion in the 1st Asia Parks Congress (APC) held in Sendai, Japan in 2013 and the Asia Protected Areas Charter, which is referred to as the Sendai Charter, adopted in the APC. This commitment will result in Enhanced PA management in Asian countries through information sharing and capacity building among countries; achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets related to PA management (Target 11 and others); and promotion of ecosystem-based approaches involving protected areas for disaster risk reduction.
  2. Provide guidelines to protected area managers on disaster risk reduction.
Kiribati Kiribati committed to:
Furthering the Phoenix Island Protected Area (PIPA), an area of 408,250 km2 collaborating with the USA on science and management within the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument and the Phoenix Islands Protected Areas.
Madagascar Madagascar committed to:
  1. Finalise the expansion of tripling of the protected areas system which is almost complete, and to included protected areas at the heart of the country’s Sustainable Development Strategy as tools for economic growth, political stability and the promotion of equity. In this context, by 20 May 2015 all of the new PAs proposed through different studies, totalling 7 million ha, will be officially declared and a new Foundation for Protected Areas will enhance their management including their financial sustainability.
  2. Triple the number of marine protected areas in the next 5-10 years.
  3. A zero tolerance policy on illegal wildlife trafficking and to stop the illegal traffic of wildlife products from the country to contribute significantly to ending wildlife crime worldwide.
Namibia Namibia committed to:
A programme to intensively create awareness among the youth and to empower local people to be wildlife stewards through their role in managing and preserving natural systems and to put a stop to poaching in the country.
Palau Palau committed to:
Restricting commercial fisheries in Palau’s entire 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone of 600,000 km2 and marine protected areas.
Panama Panama committed to:
Restore 1 million hectares of degraded lands within protected areas.
Peru Peru committed to:
Through the Ministry of the Environment (MINAM) and the National Service of Natural Protected Areas (SERNANP), with the support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the Blue Moon Fund, PROFONANPE, and the Peruvian Society of Environmental Law, to support the implementation of the initiative “Ensuring the Future of Peru’s Protected Areas (Asegurando el Futuro de las Áreas Protegidas del Perú),” through mutual and extensive collaboration, and collective action aimed at guaranteeing the ecological, political, institutional and financial sustainability of the National System of Protected Areas. In other words, to ensure long term financial sustainability as well as effective and inclusive management of 20 million hectares of the Protected Area System by 2021 in collaboration with international cooperation, civil society and the private sector through the creation of innovative financial models and appropriate participatory management tools to better protect Peru´s amazing cultural and biological diversity.
Russia Russia committed to:
  1. In the coming decade, to expand its protected area network by establishing at least 27 federal protected areas and expanding 12 others, increasing the total area of federally protected areas by 22% (or 13 million hectares). Critical habitats for important threatened species, including the Amur tiger in the Bikin River watershed (the southern Russian Far East), the polar bear in the Novosibirsk Archipelago, the Siberian crane in Yakutia, and the beluga in the White Sea near the Solovetsky Archipelago, among others, will be granted protection.
  2. Expanding the territory of marine protected areas to protect a total of 17 million hectares in the next decade.
  3. To extend the protection of threatened species, including Persian leopard in the Western Caucasus and to double the population of the Amur leopard.
South Africa South Africa committed to:
  1. More than triple its ocean protection over the next ten years, from less than 0.5% to 5% of our Exclusive Economic Zone within Marine Protected Areas, to ensure environmental sustainability as MPAs deliver ecosystem services which underpin South African livelihoods, food security and ecotourism.
  2. Use South Africa's unique geographical position to encourage the African region to create a network of marine protected areas to increase ecosystem resilience, maintain genetic biodiversity and the ability to cope with climate change.
Spain: Junta de Andalucía region The Regional Ministry of the Environment and Territorial Planning, Junta de Andalucía) committed to:
  1. Promote the integration of Andalusian parks into the IUCN Green List for Protected Areas, officially launched at the Sydney World Park Congress, beginning with the Sierra de las Nieves, and taking advantage of the process this area is currently undergoing to become a new National Park.
  2. Work towards the development of a legal framework that will allow for the inclusion of land stewardship processes in the management of Andalusian Protected Areas, this will mean enhanced participation of local population in the management and governance of protected areas
The United States National Park Service The US National Park Service committed to:
Setting up a programme to engage 100,000 youth in US Protected Areas.

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Commitments made by Organisations to the Promise of Sydney

Global Environment Facility (GEF) The Global Environment Facility, as the financial mechanism of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the largest funder of protected area systems, committed through its biodiversity strategy as well as its long-term GEF 2020 strategy, and taking account of the innovative approaches identified in Sydney, to support country-driven actions to help conserve and sustainably use biodiversity through effectively managed protected area systems that are integrated into sustainable landscape and seascape mosaics in 146 developing countries and countries with economies in transition.
Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance The Ramsar Convention will work to establish a Global Partnership for Wetlands Restoration, integrating governmental, NGO and private sector actors in order to mobilise large-scale investment in green infrastructure and to stop, slow and reverse the trend in wetland loss.
Secretariats of the Ramsar Convention and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification The Ramsar Convention and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification will work together to commit our organisations to the achievement of Land Degradation Neutrality.
UNDP Building on a $16 million partnership between the Government of Germany and the GEF Small Grants Programme, UNDP commits to mobilizing at least $100 million in support of the diversity and quality of governance of protected areas, including through the appropriate recognition and protection of indigenous and community conserved territories and areas (ICCAs), in at least 50 countries at the global level in support of the Promise of Sydney and CBD Aichi targets 11, 14 and 18 from 2014-2024.
The Elion Foundation and the Secretariat of the UNCCD Elion Foundation and The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) committed to: The creation of a public-private partnership to reduce land degradation and increase the rate of restoration of degraded land. The partnership will include the planting of 1.3 billion trees along the historic Silk Road.
ICCA Consortium The ICCA Consortium, representing 76 civil society members organisations from five continents, committed to promoting the full diversity, quality and vitality of governance and conservation of nature in the wider landscape and seascape to achieve the CBD Aichi targets and UN post-2015 sustainable development goals through transformational models of subsidiarity in economic and political systems to support the commons, territorial-based democracy, equity and justice, ecological sustainability, and human well-being.
The Rockefeller Foundation and IUCN A Natural Capital Dialogue and Working Group, convened by The Rockefeller Foundation and IUCN, aims to connect the natural capital and biodiversity community with public and private finance to advance the integration of the value of nature investment decisions and measures of economic performance. A necessary additional component is to develop a measure of biodiversity stock that will vary following investment.
Young Professionals The Young Professionals through the Young Peoples Pact made a commitment which can be viewed here
The Nature Conservancy The Nature Conservancy committed to bringing spatially explicit ecosystem services science to conservation, development, climate and engineering fora to inform management decisions and increase investments in coastal and marine habitat protection and restoration. By characterising, mapping, quantifying ecosystem services at their source and valuing those services using metrics which resonate with policymakers, private sector and civil society we can grow support for stronger conservation and more sustainable development outcomes in a changing climate. The Conservancy’s goal is to describe – in quantitative terms – all the benefit the ocean provides to people, for smarter policy and investments decisions to ensure the protection and restoration of those benefits for today and in the future. The anticipated results include:
  • Stronger whole of ocean management including effectively managed protected area networks which protect areas of critical importance for both biodiversity and ecosystem services.
  • Better management decisions and increased investments in coastal and marine habitat protection and restoration to achieve conservation and development outcomes.
  • Recognition that effective protection and restoration of marine and coastal habitats provide cost effective solutions critical to address development and climate change challenges.
International Institute for Environment and Development IIED, supported by representatives from Indigenous Peoples, local communities, private conservation organisations, NGOs, funders and governments (among others), committed to developing Human Rights Standards for Conservation to support ethical conservation. The above group will discuss and decide on the requisite approach, deliverables and timelines and work towards initial outcomes by the World Conservation Congress in 2016. The approaches, resources and activities are intended to directly address continuing instances of conservation injustice.
Birdlife International BirdLife International, a global partnership of over 120 leading national nature conservation organisations, committed through their global strategy to continue to provide authoritatively, updated, high-quality data on Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs), through strengthened IBA monitoring, and to make these data accessible to guide decision-making. Through the ‘IBAs in Danger initiative, they will maintain a list of the most highly threatened IBAs, and invite governments, the private sector, local communities and civil society organisations to join with them to implement conservation actions.
American Museum of Natural History Committed to forming a diverse working group on capacity development evaluation, to identify and seek support for building evidence for the essential role of capacity development in achieving biodiversity conservation and social equity goals, and for developing an annotated directory of evaluation tools, practices, and processes that will help document the role of capacity development in overall goals into the future.
IUCN Commission on Education and Communication (CEC) The IUCN Commission on Education and Communication committed to keeping alive a conversation with connecting young people with nature in IUCN and to ensuring that this conversation emerges at the World Conservation Congress in Hawaii. The IUCN CEC also committed to supporting young professionals and particularly to invest in them and seek opportunities to engage them in conservation careers.
PACIFIC, a consortium of the Wildlife Conservation Society (Pacific), WWF Pacific, Locally Managed Marine Areas Network, University of the South Pacific, Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), IUCN-CEESP, Conservation International (CI), and the IUCN Oceania Regional Office. PACIFIC committed to an enduring and meaningful partnership between all Conservation colleagues and partners in the Pacific, to:
  • Increase the restriction of commercial fisheries in Palau's entire 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone;
  • Increase the expansion of the “no take” zone Phoenix Island Protected Area (PIPA) to an area of 408,250 square kilometres;
  • Increase the Cook Islands Marine Park to cover it entire EEZ;
  • Establishing inshore and Offshore LMMAs and MPAs in Fiji as per the Small Islands Developing States commitments to achieving it's 30% Target in the next six years by 2020;
  • Realise the “Polynesia Promise as was proposed by PM Cook Islands as an initiative to be presented to the Polynesian Pacific Leaders to build synergies around marine protected areas in Polynesia extending from Aotearoa New Zealand to Hawaii. This has potential to be the most significant partnership on protected areas to date and will build on recent initiatives around conservation;
  • Strengthen bilateral accord between the USA and the Republic of Kiribati on surveillance of boundaries of the protected areas;
  • Increased profile and understanding of nature conservation and protected areas among a defined constituency of young leaders (conservation outcome);
  • Increase the profile for the appreciation of the wisdom of our ancestors, indigenous knowledge that is always useful to start within conservation efforts in the Pacific and also in the world;
  • Strengthen the linkages in sustainable development through Blue-Green Economy framework highlighting the importance of Reef to Ridge Management;

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